[[caption-width-right:350:"The Origin of Superman" (1973)]]

!![[Franchise/{{Superman}} The storylines]]
* ''TearJerker/AllStarSuperman''
* ''TearJerker/TheBlackRing''
* ''TearJerker/TheFinalDaysOfSuperman''
* ''TearJerker/ForTheManWhoHasEverything''
* ''TearJerker/KryptoniteNevermore''
* ''TearJerker/KryptonNoMore''
* ''TearJerker/NewKrypton''
* ''TearJerker/TheNail''
* ''TearJerker/TheSupermanAdventures''
* ''TearJerker/SupermanBirthright''
* ''TearJerker/SupermanBrainiac''
* ''TearJerker/SupermanLoisAndClark''
* ''TearJerker/SupermanReborn''
* ''TearJerker/SupermanVsTheAmazingSpiderMan''
* ''TearJerker/WarWorld''
* ''TearJerker/WhateverHappenedToTheManOfTomorrow''

!!The supporting cast
* ''TearJerker/JimmyOlsen''
* ''TearJerker/{{Legion Of Super-Heroes}}''
* ''TearJerker/LoisLane''
* ''TearJerker/{{Supergirl}}'' [-(see that page for individual Supergirl storylines)-]

!!The Movies
* ''TearJerker/ManOfSteel''
** ''TearJerker/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice''

!!!Golden Age
* In ''Superman (Volume 1)'' #65 (1950), Superman met for first time Kryptonian survivors. And they all were power-hungry criminals whom he had to banish from Earth permanently. It was only when ComicBook/PowerGirl reached Earth many years later that he met a sympathetic Kryptonian.

!!!Silver Age
* Alternate universe story ''Franchise/{{Superman}} vol 1 #149: The Death of Superman!'' is the original ''Comicbook/TheDeathOfSuperman'' story, penned by Jerry Siegel himself. Comicbook/LexLuthor manages to murder Superman, forcing Clark's friends to watch horrified. Superman dies ''for real'' and ''doesn't'' come back from the dead. Every decent person on Earth mourns him. Hundreds of thousands of persons wait outside of the Metropolis chapel to say goodbye to him, including Comicbook/LoisLane, her sister Lucy, Perry White, Comicbook/JimmyOlsen, Lori Lemaris, Comicbook/LanaLang, Comicbook/KryptoTheSuperdog, Linda Lee - Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'s SecretIdentity - and the Comicbook/LegionOfSuperHeroes.\\
Meanwhile, Lex Luthor and a bunch of crooks toss a party... until Supergirl breaks into Luthor's mansion, reveals that she is Superman's cousin and secret emergency-weapon, and she takes him away, bringing him to the Kryptonian Bottle City of Kandor. Lex is put on trial for murder.\\
Earthlings and Kandorians watch the proceedings on television. Lois, Perry and Jimmy testify at the trial. Luthor tries to wriggle out of paying the penalty, but the Kandorian judge replies that "[They] don't make deals with murderers". Luthor is sent into the PhantomZone, and Supergirl carries on in her cousin's name, with the help of Krypto, becoming a popular, beloved and very sad hero.
-->'''Bystander:''' Good luck! We miss Superman, but we're glad you're taking over for him!\\
'''Supergirl:''' ... I never thought it would turn out this way... All the time I was Superman's secret emergency-weapon, I eagerly looked forward to the day when I could operate openly! Now that it's finally happened, I -- I feel no happiness at the "glory" that's now... mine...
* In ''Comicbook/ActionComics'' #317, Lena Thorul (Luthor) thinks her friend Linda Danvers -Supergirl- has betrayed her and wants to move out of the country because Linda was her ''only'' friend and now she has no one and no reason to keep living in Midvale.

!!!Bronze Age
* In ''[[http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com.es/2011/08/review-dc-retro-active-superman-1980s.html DC Retro-Active Superman 1980s]]'', Earth-1 Superman has a nightmare where - among other things - he sees Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} dying during the Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths. When he wakes up he barely remembers his dream, but he is very shaken and frightened, and he calls his cousin to ask her to be careful. Kara dismisses his fears... and then she mentions that [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Plakld5wb0s/TkUeyzQsojI/AAAAAAAAMkE/hwV1bgRGnsQ/s1600/dc+sm+80s-08.jpg the morning sky is red...]]

* "Crisis At Hand" dealt with the issue of [[DomesticAbuse domestic violence]], as Clark learns that a woman in his apartment building is suffering abuse at the hands of her husband, but legal circumstances render Superman unable to intervene. One particular moment has Clark at the Kent farm, in tears from frustration as he tells Jonathan and Martha about it, ''and his super-hearing can still hear the abuse going on.''
* ''ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman'': The entire ending of the fight between Supes and Doomsday, where you suddenly realize that the Man of Steel ''knows'' that he might not survive this, and still keeps on fighting. Then when [[MutualKill they both drop dead]], you're subjected to 4 straight pages (2 of them double spreads) of every person who's seen the fight starting to break out into tears. Anyone who read the comic did too. And the flag made from Superman's torn cape was just extra incentive for the water works.
** The ''Funeral For a Friend'' arc that came afterwards was even worse, all starting with this: Superman Armbands.
** Bibbo Bibbowski, a big-hearted lug who initially liked Superman because he was "tough", first tries to help Professor Hamilton try to save Superman (even though the only thing protecting Bibbo from getting fried himself was a personal forcefield), and after the funeral prays to God and asks Him why He would take a hero like Superman instead of "an ol' roughneck" like him.
** The moment you realize that the greatest hero since the creation of modern comics has just DIED tends to make more than a few tears well up in your eyes, ending a decades long career spent saving the lives of sentient beings around the universe countless times. To quote an Music/{{ACDC}} song "For those about to Rock, We salute you". We love you, ya Big Blue Boy Scout.
** In real life one of the entertainment news outlets that covered the ''Death of Superman'' story-line was literally titled: "Superman Falls Victim To Age of Anti-Heroes." That's incredibly sad when you remember that the 90s era of comics were being overrun with DarkerAndEdgier anti-heroes, almost symbolizing that there was no place left in comics for NiceGuy heroes like Superman.
* Superman trying to end famine in Africa in ''Peace On Earth''. He's a PhysicalGod, he should be able to accomplish anything, right? He can't.
* ''Action Comics'' #800 is a retelling of Clark Kent's life from the moment the Kents found him until the instant he decides to be Superman. While that story is good (and has a few tearjerker moments itself), it's interspersed with short b+w vignettes of people in the DC Universe who have been inspired by Superman in different ways, such as the man who willed himself to learn to read because he wanted to know what Superman was saying in a comic strip, or the boy dying of cancer who reassures his father that he'll be fine because they're "going to get all the Kryptonite out." It's the final piece that really turns on the waterworks, though: it's the story of a policeman who wears a Superman shirt under his uniform; he'd been doing it for six years, ever since another cop had been shot, and all the guys he worked with made fun of him for being superstitious. Then one day, he runs to help a woman who's being attacked, and is shot in the process. [[spoiler:When he recovers and returns to the precinct, everybody who'd ragged on him is there to welcome him back, and they're all wearing the same Superman shirt. He still wears his, too, complete with the bullet hole.]]
** The "boy with cancer" story is even better when you realize it was drawn by Tim Sale, best known for his collaborations with Jeph Loeb - whose son Sam Loeb died of cancer. And the art is close enough that if you wanted to, you could see the dad in the story as Jeph himself.
* The end scene of ''Superman/Batman'' #12 when it looks like Darkseid has obliterated ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} and Superman is hunched over the ashes shedding tears. Even though they were faking her death, his expression makes clear how shattered Clark would be if someone would have brutally killed off his family's only survivor right after being reunited with her.
* Nearly '''everything''' involving Golden Age (aka the ''original'') Superman of Earth-2 in ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'', especially [[spoiler:Lois' death and his own death.]] It's [[HarsherInHindsight even more of a tear jerker]] if you grew up back in [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks the Golden Age of Comics]], since it's ''your'' Superman and Lois Lane.
-->'''Earth-Two Superman:''' Superman always saves Lois Lane...
* Near the end of Creator/GeoffJohns' ''ComicBook/SupermanBrainiac'' arc in Action Comics, Franchise/{{Superman}} [[spoiler:fails to save Pa Kent from a fatal heart attack, because Kandor was coming back to full size and he was mesmerized]].
** Equally sad is that [[spoiler:after Pa Kent's funeral Superman actually ''fantasizes'' about going after Brainiac, the villain responsible for the whole damn thing, cornering him in his cell, and fantasizes ''brutally beating him to death''. It's not only incredibly creepy to see Superman actually fantasize about killing someone, no matter how terrible, but the look on his face in the final panel of the fantasy that shows him realizing this won't bring his father back, just makes it even more heartbreaking.]]
* ''ComicBook/SupermanBatman'' #76. Every damn page of it. The issue is from the viewpoint of Superman as he deals with the death of Bruce Wayne. The most touching moment is when Superman is talking to Wonder Woman. Clark is discussing how they'll outlive everyone they know and how they're higher beings. Diana stops him, telling him that no matter how he wants to rationalize it, he's just a man grieving for a lost friend.
* The ending of the ''[[ComicBook/NewKrypton War Of The Supermen]]'' storyline. [[spoiler:New Krypton is destroyed. Flamebird (Thara Ak-Var) sacrifices herself to reignite the sun while Chris Kent is held back from saving her by the Nightwing entity. Chris Kent seals himself into the PhantomZone to make sure General Zod doesn't escape, bidding a final farewell to Superman, his true dad. Sam Lane is hailed as a hero instead of the racist bastard he truly is, while everyone thinks all Kryptonians are evil.]]
* In the aftermath, both Superman and Supergirl are emotionally shattered. Superman copes with his depression by [[ComicBook/SupermanGrounded walking the USA]] and Supergirl [[ComicBook/{{Bizarrogirl}} goes missing several weeks]].

* The end of the Star Light, Star Bright series where Neil deGrasse Tyson helps Superman find where Rao and Krypton are in the sky on Earth. When they do find it, the light from it is the exact moment Krypton was destroyed.
* The [[spoiler:death of the ComicBook/New52 version of Superman in ''ComicBook/TheFinalDaysOfSuperman''. Already weak from Kryptonite poisoning, he sacrifices himself by absorbing a massive amount of solar energy from a deranged metahuman. He survives long enough to say goodbye to Batman, Lois, Steel, Lana, Kara, and Wonder Woman.]]

* ''Superman: Rebirth'' #1: [[spoiler: Pre-Flashpoint Superman spends most of the issue with the great hope of reviving his New 52 counterpart, even helping Lana steal his body and taking them to the Fortress of Solitude. He even recounts [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman his death and rebirth]] to her. It's all dashed away when he discovers that there's no Regeneration Matrix in the New 52 Fortress of Solitude, and that New 52 Superman left everything to the New 52 Supergirl.]]
** Lana thinks Pre-Flashpoint Superman is New 52 Superman at first, running up to him and gushing relief.
--->'''Lana:''' '''CLARK!''' [[spoiler:You're alive! What happened -- How did you --]]\\
'''Superman:''' Um... Miss Lang... I'm afraid I'm not who you think I am.\\
''(Cue Lana's crestfallen face.)''
* In ''Superman #1'' (2016), [[spoiler: Jonathan accidentally kills his cat with his heat vision. The look on his face is heartbreaking.]]
* ''Action Comics'' #958. Lois unable to explain to Jon that Doomsday killed his father, and when things get serious, she's unable to watch and turns off the television.
* In the ''Revenge'' story arc, Superman and Supergirl see Zod blasting off the sky the vessel where they believe Lois and and Jon are fleeing.
* At the end of the ''Action Comics: Rebirth'' arc ''Men of Steel'', Luthor had just come back from an arc where he and Superman stopped a mind control plan which, due to his Apocalipse-built suit, almost turned him into Darkseid, and he comes back victorious, his HeelFaceTurn still intact, despite personal temptation, and the unsteady truce between him and Supes strengthened. Then comes in Mr. Oz [[spoiler: re: Jor-El]] who rips the S-Shield from his suit's chest and breaks the thing in half. Luthor's face just screams "I'm trying to be good! Why can the world not let me!"

!!!The Films
* ''Film/SupermanTheMovie'': The death of ComicBook/LoisLane and Superman's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxF3kNmJ7tk reaction]] is both tearjerking and chilling.
** Jonathan Kent's death. When he has his heart attack, he mutters, "Oh, no. Not ''now''." It also teaches Clark that no matter how many powers he has, he can't save everyone.
* The scene where Jor-El, Lara and all other Kryptonians die as Krypton tears itself apart. The film provides one of the more gruesome versions of the planet's destruction.

!!!The Animated Series
* One of the most heartwrenching versions of Krypton's demise is possibly the one shown in [[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries the 90's animated series]]. It includes a scene with Lara's father, one of the most outspoken skeptics against Jor-El's theory, which is implied to be heavily influenced by his dislike for his son in law. Leaving the house, he sees the rocket carrying baby Kal-El leave the planet, just as another earthquake begins, which finally hammers home to the old man that Jor-El was right.
-->'''Bystander''': Another earthquake?\\
'''Lor-Van''': No... the last one.